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Business pioneer invests in Northeastern’s future

Business pioneer and Northeastern alumnus Roger Marino has once again stepped forward to invest in his beloved alma mater by making a multimillion dollar gift to support the ambitious goals of the university’s historic Empower campaign. His passion for Northeastern’s experiential-learning model and for its unprecedented momentum under the leadership of President Joseph E. Aoun is the driver behind Marino’s latest gift.

“President Aoun has taken Northeastern to new heights,” Marino said. “The university’s future looks bright.”

He credited Northeastern’s co-op program with giving him the confidence to succeed in the fast-paced business world. “I became very comfortable interacting with my colleagues because I was knowledgeable about how I should act in a professional setting,” he said, noting his experiential-learning opportunities with Raytheon and Sylvania Lighting. “Co-op helped me understand the inner-working of different types of corporations so that they weren’t alien to me when I graduated from Northeastern.” Marino’s investment will help future generations of students experience similarly rewarding professional experiences through co-op.

Marino graduated with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering in 1961; received an honorary doctorate in humane letters in 1996; and was named a lifetime trustee emeritus in 2009. His $2 million investment is the latest from Marino who has been a loyal supporter of Northeastern for the last 20 years, giving back to the university for initiatives focused on health and education.

“Roger epitomizes the impact Northeastern has had on many of our graduates,” said President Aoun. “Just as his education was transformative for him, Roger’s enduring commitment to Northeastern has impacted countless members of our community.”

His gift in the early 1990s funded the Marino Recreation Center, which opened in 1996 on Huntington Avenue. “I was really bowled over when I saw it at night, all lit up against the Boston background,” he once said of his first visit to the Marino Center. “That was just amazing.”

Marino is also a benefactor of the Torch Scholars Program, a seven-year-old initiative that supports first-generation, low-income students who exhibit potential in nontraditional ways. Based on data from the first two graduating classes, 100 percent of scholars are either in graduate school or employed in their fields.

“I can’t believe how smart these kids are,” Marino said. “They’re extraordinary.”

Marino grew up in Revere, Mass., and arrived at Northeastern in the fall of 1956. His father immigrated to America from Italy in the early 20th century and worked as a tailor at a factory not far from campus.

Marino and fellow College of Engineering alumnus Richard Egan cofounded EMC in 1979, transforming the Hopkinton, Mass.-based global data storage company from a startup into a multinational corporation with 40,000 employees.

He retired from EMC in 1992 to pursue business ventures related to his lifelong interest in sports and entertainment. He is the executive producer of five feature films and the former principal owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League.